Taha Subhi Falaha (Abu Muhammad al-Adnani) was killed near al-Bab in northern Syria on 30 August in an airstrike by the U.S.-led Coalition. One of Falaha’s roles was the Islamic State’s official spokesman. On 5 December, IS announced that it has a new spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, and he gave an inaugural speech. That speech, entitled, “You Will Remember What I Have Told You,” was printed in the fourth issue of Rumiyah on 7 December. Rumiyah seems to have replaced the English-language Dabiq magazine—probably because the village of Dabiq has been lost. The speech is reproduced below with some editions for spelling, some additions for explanation, and some especially notable sections highlighted in bold.
Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, seek His aid and forgiveness, and seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our souls and the consequences of our deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides, none can misguide, and whomsoever He leaves to stray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger; may abundant peace and blessings be upon him, his family, and his companions until the Day of Recompense. As for what follows:
Allah said, “Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands. He will disgrace them, give you victory over them, satisfy the breasts of a believing people, and remove the fury in the believers’ hearts. And Allah turns in forgiveness to whom He wills; Allah is knowing and wise. Do you think that you will be left alone while Allah has not yet made evident those among you who strive [for His cause] and do not take other than Allah, His Messenger, and the believers as patrons? And Allah is acquainted with what you do” (At-Tawbah 14-16).
To the mujahideen for Allah’s cause everywhere. O soldiers of the Khilafa [caliphate] patiently clenching hot coals! O defenders of the religion and honour! O you who are ready to sacrifice your souls cheaply for Allah’s cause! O you who have confronted with your chests the most insolent crusade known throughout history, defending the homeland of Islam with your blood! O you who have terrified the nations of kufr [disbelief] and armies of apostasy with your bravery and solid hearts! O you who have astonished the entire world with your patience and steadfastness!
I advise with what Allah’s Messenger advised Abdullah Ibn Abbas, as he said to him, “If all creation wanted to benefit you with something that Allah had not decreed for you, they would not be able to do so. And if they wanted to harm you with something that Allah had not decreed against you, they would not be able to do so. Know that there is much good in being patient upon what you dislike, that victory comes with patience, that relief comes with anguish, and that ease comes with difficulty” (Reported by Ahmad).
Indeed, Umar said to some chiefs of Bani Abs, “With what did you fight people?” They replied, “With patience. We did not encounter any enemy except by facing them with patience as they faced us.” Some of the Salaf also said, “All of us dislike death and the pain of wounds, but we vary in rank through patience.”
Thus, be patient, O brothers in jihad. Be steadfast and rejoice, for, by Allah, you will be victorious. This tribulation that you are passing through is merely an episode of tribulations by which Allah grants His mercy to His slaves and thereby distinguishes the wicked from the good and thereafter prepares you for a great truth and larger responsibility.
This tribulation, which in reality is a gift, is not more difficult than that which preceded it. You have passed through tribulations that if the anchored mountains were exposed thereto, they would have flattened them. However, you were patient and steadfast therein. Rather, you even left the tribulations with stronger resolve and greater resilience.
O troops of Iraq and Sham [Syria]! O ghuraba [lit. “strangers”, means the few pure people in a sullied world] of Islam! The encampment of falsehood has been duped by the temporal world, been deceived by desire, and become self-conceited. Shaytan [Satan] has blown arrogance into its nose. Thus, it rose recklessly, manifested itself conceitedly, foamed angrily, and tremored with fear, and launched a campaign—the likes of which history has never seen in past eras—against the abode of Islam and the land of Khilafa. Here are Crusader America and Europe, formerly-Communist Russia, Magian Iran, secularist Turkey, the Kurdish atheists, the Rafidah [derogatory term for Shi’is], the Nusayriyyah [Alawites, refers to the Assad regime], the Sahwat [anti-IS Sunni forces, in this context Syrian rebels], the Arab tawaghit [tyrants] and their soldiers, all in one trench, armed with a modern military arsenal, having in their company a filthy media splendour, all of whose slogans are one, “The eradication of Islam and its people,” and whose logic is one, [like the disbelievers of Ad, who said], “‘Who is greater than us in strength?'” (Fussilat 15).
They have marched towards you with their might and arms, placing in their forefronts the despicable apostates from their fellow tribesmen as sacrificial rams, directing them towards you, until they settled in your arena. Thus, seek the aid of patience, perseverance, endurance, and diligence in your fight against them.
The Rafidah have come with their steeds and men to the abode of Islam and the land of Tal Afar, incited by their animosity and thirst for vengeance, seeking to seize Tal Afar and inflict harm on Ahl al-Sunna [the Sunnis] therein. Thus, do not let the enemy of Allah catch his breath or fortify his defences. Set up ambushes. Be relentless in the fight and be severe in combat. Do so, as you fight a people who have no intellect, nor proof, nor religion, nor victorious dunya [in the temporal world]. They are driven by the cross-worshiper before them, to take his place in combat and warfare and to achieve his goals and aims in dividing the region and submitting it and its people to the authority of the Magian Rafidah [Iranian Shi’ites]. This, by Allah, will never be achieved by them.
Thus, if the two sides face off, “strike them upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip” (Al-Anfal 12). Destroy their vehicles. Storm their positions. Afflict them with distress in their sanctuaries. Do so that they may taste some of the calamity you afflict. And in no time, Allah will give you power over them.
Do not even contemplate retreating. For by Allah, if you retreat, you only retreat from honor, which will find no defender for itself, and religion, which complains to Allah of people who lost it and supporters who forsook it.
Always remember the statement of Allah, “O you believe, when you encounter a company [from the enemy forces], stand firm and remember Allah much that you may be successful. And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and thus lose courage and then your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient” (Al-Anfal 45-46), and His statement, “How many a prophet [fought and] with him fought many religious scholars. But they never lost heart due to what afflicted them in the cause of Allah, nor did they weaken or submit. And Allah loves the steadfast” (Al-Imran 146).
We swear by Allah, we see that Allah lured the Crusaders, the apostates, and the atheists to their deaths, that this, by Allah’s permission, will be their last campaign, and that soon we will raid their homelands. We say this with trust from Allah, the One and Only, as we have good assumptions of the Single Master.
And O people of Islam and its lions in Raqqa! O people of chivalry, honour, and esteem! Has the matter passed with the Muslims’ land being looted by a lewd, atheist, and disbelieving woman, after her peers were incapable of producing a male to represent them and spout his wickedness in their name. Rather, the deviants from the people of disbelief and idolatry flock from the extents of the earth in support of their falsehood and the war against Islam and its people. Thus, tell me, by your Lord, what will the situation be like if the transgression of the atheists from among the Kurds [the PKK, in Syria the PYD/YPG] is not repelled and they achieve what they desire? May Allah not allow such to occur. The situation will be nothing save war against your religion, the absence of your shari’a, the desecration of your masajid [mosques], the humiliation of your men, and the widowing of your women and wives by the lewd, atheist, and disbelieving women who are, by Allah, the vile, despicable, absurd, and miserable. If this were to happen, there would be neither any good nor any value in life. Know that now is the hour of truth and fulfilment of vows.
O mujahid Muslims, three matters have gathered for you and woe to a slave who desires something else instead: A land ruled by Allah’s shari’a, an invading enemy whom there is nothing as obligatory as fighting after having iman [faith], and martyrdom that the truthful have sought after for so long.
My heart is sure and my soul is free.
It refuses degradation and my sword is sharp.
Why would a man fear the parting of his soul?
Is not the end of every life a parting?
Elevate your soul while it is still in its garments.
If not in Syria, then there is Iraq.
There is no good in the life of a coward,
A life surrounded by humiliation and destitution.
They criticized my zeal and spite.
But fire is not to be criticized for its burning.
O knights of martyrdom and lions of jihad in al-Bab and its countryside! May Allah brighten your faces and reward you for your good efforts, for you have humiliated the apostates from the Turks, the Sahwat, the Kurds, and flocks of the Nusayriyyah, through your courage and your undertaking of sacrifice for your religion with honour and steadfastness. Thus, be patient, outlast your enemy in perseverance, and fear Allah, that you might be successful. Indeed, the Turkish apostate descendants of the killers of the muwahideen [lit. “monotheists,” in this context the Wahhabis who revolted against the Ottoman government] today repeat the deeds of their forefathers before them. They have struck the Muslim State and the Muslim Jamaah [community]. Therefore, seek vengeance for your religion and tawhid [monotheism].
You do not fight a mighty people. Rather you fight shadows who seek refuge with walls. Thus, be truthful in your campaign against them. Besiege them. Kill them wherever you find them. Seek them with every method in every land beneath any sky.
Indeed, the Turkish apostate Ikhwani [Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan] and his government begging at the gates of Crusader Europe thought that they had the room to safely do as they please. Thus, O zealous Muslims everywhere! O truthful muwahideen! O people of wala [loyalty to god and his believers] and bara [disavowal and separation from disbelievers]! This accursed individual came and amassed the scum of men in the Sahwat of disgrace in Syria to wage war against Allah’s religion and to put out His light. He relentlessly bombarded and destroyed houses upon the heads of their inhabitants, soiling his hands with the blood of the Muslims, making light of their religion and sanctity. Accordingly, we make a call to every truthful muwaheed [strict monotheists] to target the supports of the apostate, secularist, Turkish state everywhere, including the security, military, economic, and media apparatuses, rather, even every embassy and consulate representing them in all lands of the earth.
Thereafter, know O mujahid muwahideen that the worst of them in criminality, kufr, and sin are their barking dogs from the scholars of deviance, callers to kufr, and shuyukh [religious leaders] of lowliness and decadence, those who supported that mushrik [idolatrous or polytheistic] party [i.e. the Muslim Brotherhood] and apostate state [Turkey] through all forms of wala and support via their “scholarly” councils, fatwa assemblies, and media programs, rather even via their personal accounts and discussion forums. Their names are infamous, their locations are exposed, and their programs are notorious. They are those who gave their blessings to the rule of the tyrannical kafir. They propagated and rejoiced at his [Erdogan’s] presidency despite its deviance. They came to him from all the lands, congratulating him on what he manifested openly of blatant apostasy and disbelief. They took his lands as a hotbed for their operations and a shelter for their disgrace and ignorance. They defaced the signs of guidance with their hands and killed what remained of glory in the face of the kuffar, taking them instead as brethren. How evil are those hands and that brotherhood.
They brought kufr closer and made it a trivial matter. They disfigured and deformed the great religion. Thereby, the deceptions increased, the innovations spread, and desires were worshiped, and how evil an object of worship! The praiseworthy was not distinguishable from the blameworthy nor was the blameworthy distinguishable from the praiseworthy. The worst calamity and uttermost lowliness was in that they became leaders for the people, calling them to darkness. They are merely cowardly, fearing people more than Allah, or arrogant, seeking fame, celebrityhood, and prestige, or afflicted with the love of vanities and fear of losing dunya. They magnified their corruption and abuse, buried the pure truth, and spread wickedness. There are many, many of them, but we will not go into length therein, for there is so much to mention. May Allah disfigure their empty souls, their hired beards, and their false tongues.
When the sailor is absent, and the ship is tossed by winds, the frogs take over;
Is there not someone to restrain them, or to cut off their noses, or even to stop them?
The worst of his people was Bal’am Ibn Ba’ura and the worst of Musaylimah‘s people was ar-Rajjal Ibn Unfuwah. Amongst these wicked scholars today are those who are worse to Islam and its people than many of those whom you might consider to be the worst.
By Allah, the time has come for these skulls to be split, for these souls to be smothered, and for these tongues to be cut off! Iyad al-Yahsibi said in his book “Tartib al-Madarik wa Taqrib al-Masalik” that “Abu Bakr Isma’il Ibn Ishaq Ibn Udhrah was asked about the khutbah-givers of Bani Ubayd, the false Fatimids. It was said to him, ‘They are Sunni.’ He said, ‘Do they not say, “O Allah, send blessings upon your slave al-Hakim and grant him inheritance of the earth?”‘ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Imagine if a khutbah-giver gave the khutbah, beginning with praise for Allah and His Messenger, doing the praise well, and then said, ‘Abu Jahl is in Jannah [Paradise].’ Would he be a kafir?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Al-Hakim is worse in kufr than Abu Jahl.’ Ad-Dawudi was also asked about the matter and said, ‘Their khutbah-giver who gives khutbah for them and supplicates for them on Jumu’ah is a kafir who should be killed. Repentance is not to be demanded of him. His wife is haram for him. He does not inherit from Muslims nor do they inherit from him. His wealth is to be seized by the Muslims’.” This ends his words.
Thus, O zealous soldiers of tawhid everywhere, dedicate yourselves to killing those evil scholars and callers of fitna [strife] everywhere who harm the religion of Allah and His allies [i.e. IS]. If one of you finds one of them, he should not let his shadow separate from the evil one’s shadow until he kills him. Let him attack him—even in the evil scholar’s home while he is amongst his family. Begin with those who publicized their enmity and called to the killing of the mujahideen or accused them of atheism or abandonment of the religion. Revive the sunna of the killing of Jahm, Ja’d, al-Hallaj, and Ma’bad through your killing of the evil scholars, for, by Allah, if Shaytan were to establish a state, he would find from them prepared soldiers and cooperative supporters. And there is no power nor strength except by Allah, the Almighty.
Abu al-Hasan Ali Ibn Abi Talib said, “There shall soon come upon the people a time in which nothing of Islam remains except its name and nothing of the Qur’an remains except its script. Their masajid will be built with splendour while they are ruins, void of guidance. Their scholars will be the worst creatures under the sky. Fitna arises from them and is only due to them” (Reported by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman). Indeed, the fitna began from their mouths and from upon their pulpits, for after they prohibited jihad for Allah’s cause and considered it a crime, they began to call the people to join falsehood, kufr, and the fight under the banners of the tawaghit, doing so to achieve the pleasure of their rulers and keep their wealth and prestige safe. The loser is he who loses his religion by following their desires and preserving their dunya, for whoever does not busy himself with truth, Shaytan busies him with falsehood. And whoever does not fight for Allah’s cause today, the taghut will make him one day fight for the taghut’s cause.
And to the Muslims generally and Ahl al-Sunna in Iraq and Syria specifically:
The evil of the Magian state of Iran has reached its climax. The sparks spread, reaching all lands and harming all slaves [of god]. They murdered Ahl al-Sunna in Iraq and Syria via their proxies, militias, experts, and advisers. The Sunni thereby became either a shackled prisoner or a submissive follower. No one after Allah inhibited them from the Muslims, save the Islamic State. Yes, the truth is bright and falsehood is dark. How can a vain deviant compete with the troops of the Khilafa? How can two people differ over who it is that defends the religion, honour, and the land? Who is it that made Iran and its followers taste horrible atrocities?
May Allah disfigure the beards of the evil scholars, how great their evil and falsehood are. Who is it that unsheathed the sword of truth in the face of the Magian state of Iran and made it taste destruction from Baghdad to Beirut to Halab [Aleppo] to Dimashq [Damascus] to Khorasan [Afghanistan-Pakistan] to Sanaa [in Yemen]? Who, O callers of evil and corruption, who? Here is Iran now cruising the lands of Ahl al-Sunna from east to west and from north to south, waging war against Allah’s slaves, the mujahid muwahideen, while protected by the bombardment and support of the Crusaders and the treacherous apostate governments. They propose for its love and hope for good terms with it. May Allah hasten the collapse of their thrones and the end of their kingdoms at the hands of the mujahideen by Allah’s power and strength.
Is it not time O Ahl al-Sunna that you abandon frivolities, riddles of fornicating women, and legendary myths. Why do you look arrogant and act proud? Is it because you repelled the aggression of a cruel enemy who has attacked the lands and reached a stone’s throw from Mecca and Medina? Or is it because of extra fortitude and severity some find in their rulers with which they believe they will be protected and defended? Nay, by Allah, indeed these thoughts are wrong and at loss. And you will remember what I have told you.
Until when will we race against the stars at night, while the stars do not race on shoe nor on foot.
The enemy, may Allah break his back, has attacked the land and hopes—may Allah humiliate him—to deface your religion and desecrate your honour. The path of guidance has been made clear, so see it. Islam shouts, so support it. Honour calls out, so save it. The mujahid for Allah’s sake, incites to the fight, so do not abandon him.
Dar al-Islam [the Abode of Islam] is for all Muslims. The shari’a of Allah is a trust on their shoulders. The defence of Dar al-Islam and the shari’a is not a responsibility solely for the mujahideen. Thus, no slave has any excuse with Allah, nor with the Muslims, if the brothers of apes and swine and the worshipers of stones, trees, and men reach it. Rush, therefore, to join the caravan of jihad and support the fighters for Allah’s cause in any way you can help, with combat, wealth, incitement, and supplication.
To the soldiers of the Khilafa and its supporters all over the world! To the predatory lions who pounced upon the beds of kufr, made it forget comfort, muddied the face of its intelligence agencies, and made safety a dream from amongst their many dreams! Know—may Allah support you with His aid—that your blessed operations turn the scales and turn the spout of the cannons of kufr away from the Muslims. Thus, attack them in their homes, markets, streets, clubs, and wherever they least expect it. Enflame the ground beneath their feet and blacken their skies so that they are busied with themselves. Multiply your efforts and intensify your operations, may Allah bless you.
I will not forget here to praise the knights of dawa [proselytization], health, media, and other soldiers of the Khilafa and ask Allah to bless their jihad and ribat [guard duty] on various fronts. Their battle today is no less of importance than the military battle.
O Allah, all praise is due to You until You are pleased. All praise is due to you, when You are pleased. All praise is due to you, after You are pleased. O Allah, stop the criminal kuffar who turn people from Your path, who fight Your allies, who deny Your messengers, and who desire corruption on the earth. O Allah, support Your religion and Your soldiers, make Your word supreme, raise Your banner of truth, O ilah [god] of Truth. There is no power nor strength except by Allah. And all praise is due to the Lord of creation.